The general idea behind this thread is that some members of my team are interested in putting LEDs on our robot as a non-functional decoration. My general curiosity in this matter is divided into several questions:
Is it legal to have a fourth battery on one’s robot (besides the two 7.2 volt robot batteries and the 9 volt backup battery) for the sole purpose of powering a non-functional decoration (such as an LED), assuming that the LEDs do not provide any advantage or disadvantage to either alliance and are not overly distracting to either alliance.
I have seen teams that have lights on their robot that are not powered through the robot batteries (such as the green flashlights on Team 429c at the All-Star tournament in Orlando and the LED lapel pin that Team 254A had a couple years ago). Is it legal to have a completely self-contained electrical system (such as a small flashlight) on the robot?
Rule <13> says that “Additional batteries cannot be used on the robot (even ones that aren’t connected).” Would it be legal to use a different power source besides a battery (e.g. a capacitor) for a non-functional decoration?
Is it legal to power non-VEX electrical components (such as a string of non-VEX LEDs) through the Microcontroller or through the power expander? The non-VEX electrical components would be solely used as a non-functional decoration. I am asking this question because some members of my team want to light up the bottom of our robot with a string of LEDs for purely aesthetic effect (we think that it would look especially cool when we hang). It would be cumbersome to power the required number of LEDs with a bunch of Y-cables.
After much discussion, we have decided that this would not be legal. Their are a wealth of safety issues that come into play with batteries and as such we cannot allow this, even if only for decorative purposes.